Remembering Jerry Falwell

A selection from around the web on the late US televangelist.

● The Rev Jerry Falwell, who died yesterday, said a lot of things - you can get a flavour of them from his take on Aids, which he saw as "God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals". Boing Boing's round-up is titled Falwell's stupidest quotes, direct from hell, which gives you an impression of where it stands on the Moral Majority founder.

Slate is no warmer towards him, concluding that he "hit the jackpot trafficking in small-minded condemnation". Its list of Falwell quotes includes his verdict on 9/11, that "the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this".

● On his legacy as founder of the US's religious right, the New York Times points out that when he created the Moral Majority in 1979, "fundamentalist Christians were so apolitical that many did not even bother to vote".

Boing Boing also remembers his role in the annals of US libel law, linking to the Campari ad parody that joked he had an incestuous encounter with his mother. It led to the Hustler v Falwell supreme court ruling in favour of the magazine.

● John Nicols of the Nation expects Republican presidential hopefuls to fall over each other to express sorrow at Falwell's passing. Not because they cared much for him, but because they need the support of the "millions of fire-and-brimstone Christians in states such as Iowa and South Carolina" for whom Falwell claimed to speak.

● The Economist's US blog meanwhile asks a good question: which of the the Republican presidential hopefuls will show up at his funeral?

● And who from the White House? Talking Points Memo recorded MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer citing an item on the spoof site as Bush administration praise for Falwell. On the real version, we learn that President and Mrs Bush were "saddened" by his passing and pay tribute to his founding of Liberty University.

● The Lynchburg News & Advance, Falwell's local paper, has opened an online condolence book.


Simon Jeffery

The GuardianTramp

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